Vonn Bell

Contract Details: Funchess, Packers, Bell, Bengals, Vigil, Chargers

A few more recent contract figures to pass along:

  • Devin Funchess, WR (Packers): One year, $2.5MM. The $2.5MM is a far cry from the one-year, $10MM deal he got from the Colts last offseason. He got a $1MM signing bonus, $1.2MM base salary, and an extra couple hundred thousand in workout and roster bonuses. He has another $3.75MM in incentives available (via Tom Pelissero of NFL Network).
  • Vonn Bell, S (Bengals): Three years, $18MM. Bell got a $3MM signing bonus, with a $3MM base salary in 2020 and $1MM reporting bonus. He has base salaries of $4.1MM and $6.1MM in 2021 and 2022 respectively, with $400K in roster and workout bonuses in each of those years (via Albert Breer of SI.com).
  • Nick Vigil, LB (Chargers): One year, $2.4MM. Vigil had to settle for a prove-it deal despite starting 16 games for the Bengals last year. He got a $500K signing bonus, $1.9MM base salary, and can earn an additional $600K in playing-time incentives.

 

Bengals To Sign Vonn Bell

The Bengals’ defensive overhaul continues. On Wednesday, the Bengals agreed to terms with safety Vonn Bell, according to Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Once finalized, it’ll be a three-year deal.

Garafolo adds in a separate tweet that the contract is worth $18MM, $7MM of which will be paid out in 2020.

Bell, 25 (26 in December), entered the league as a second-round pick of the Saints back in 2016. He spent four years there, up until now. There was some chatter of the Saints re-signing him, but Sean Payton & Co. elected to instead bring back old friend Malcolm Jenkins.

In 2019, Bell started in all 13 of his games and finished out with 89 tackles, 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, and one interception. Now, he’ll move on to the Bengals where he joins fellow newcomers D.J. Reader, Trae WaynesXavier Su’a-Filo, Mackensie Alexander, and Josh Bynes. At safety, he’ll be accompanied by Jessie Bates, Shaun Williams, and likely a couple more names between now and the start of the season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Interested In Saints’ Vonn Bell

Vonn Bell could wind up changing teams while staying in the same division. The Panthers have shown interest in the Saints’ free agent safety, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The incumbent Saints are also hoping to keep him, she adds.

Bell, an Ohio State product, has spent his entire career with the Saints since entering the league in 2016. The former second-round pick has 61 appearances and 45 starts to his credit. Last year, he started in all 13 of his games for New Orleans and tallied 89 stops plus 1.5 sacks.

For his work, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the No. 47 safety in the NFL. With the Saints, he’s helped contain the run, resulting in a 43-game streak without allowing any single rusher to hit 100 yards. He’s also displayed his hard-hitting ability with seven career forced fumbles.

The Saints would like to keep Bell, but they do have Chauncey Gardner-Johnson waiting in the wings. The Panthers, meanwhile, could use help in the secondary after losing James Bradberry to the Giants in free agency.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

FA Notes: Clowney, Harris, Hooper, Saints

Jadeveon Clowney has drawn interest from other teams — the Colts and Giants among them — but the Seahawks remain interested in bringing him back. However, they may not be ready to pay top dollar for the former No. 1 overall pick. The Seahawks are trying to extend Clowney before he hits free agency March 18, but Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano of ESPN.com report the franchise is unlikely to compete with a true top-market price (ESPN+ link). If the bidding goes into the $18-$20MM-per-year range, which it almost certainly will given other teams’ franchise tags keeping edge players off the market, the Seahawks are not expected to go there. This would mean the Seahawks will have lost two standout edge rushers in two years, after trading Frank Clark to the Chiefs. Seattle, which did not see much from first-round defensive end L.J. Collier last season, is set to carry more than $44MM in cap space.

Both the Colts and Titans are interested and are not afraid of Clowney’s asking price, per Fowler and Graziano. A new entry in the Clowney sweepstakes, Tennessee could use edge help but seemingly has key issues to sort out involving Ryan Tannehill (or a replacement) and Derrick Henry first.

Here is the latest from the free agency market, shifting to one of this era’s top cornerbacks:

  • Chris Harris appears set to have a busy legal tampering period. The four-time Pro Bowl cornerback has drawn interest from the Cowboys, Jets, Lions, Raiders and Texans, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets. The final holdover from the Broncos’ dominant Super Bowl-winning secondary, Harris both expressed a desire to finish his career in Denver and hit the market for the first time. While the Broncos have not ruled out another extension for the 30-year-old cornerback, Harris expects to be elsewhere in 2020. Harris met with at least 24 teams at the Combine, including the Cowboys, per Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). A Cowboys fit would be interesting, with the team set to lose Byron Jones. The Broncos are one of the teams targeting Jones.
  • In Demario Davis, the Saints already have a 30-something entrenched as a starting linebacker. However, New Orleans is interested in Patriots free agent Jamie Collins, Larry Holder of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Collins, 30, enjoyed a bounce-back season back in New England, after he did not justify his then-off-ball-‘backer-record deal in Cleveland. The Saints have A.J. Klein as a free agent-to-be and can save $8MM by releasing Kiko Alonso.
  • While the Saints were willing to let Kenny Vaccaro walk two years ago, they want to retain Vonn Bell, Holder adds. It would be at a price, however. Considering the Saints added promising safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in the fourth round last year and have Marcus Williams as an extension candidate, their Bell price point may be low.
  • The tight end landscape could look strange by the time George Kittle‘s negotiations ramp up. Austin Hooper is expected to become the league’s highest-paid tight end — by a considerable margin — in free agency, Graziano and Fowler note. A 2016 third-round pick, Hooper has made the Pro Bowl twice but has only one 700-yard season on his resume. However, the Falcons tight end was on pace for nearly 1,000 yards before a midseason hamstring injury. The Falcons will let Hooper test the market, and with this draft not deep at tight end, the market will likely be robust. The Bears, Packers and Redskins are interested.
  • Phillip Lindsay has exploded out of the blocks to start his career, becoming the first UDFA to start his NFL run with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. But backfield mate Royce Freeman, a Broncos 2018 third-round pick, has underwhelmed. The Broncos may be eyeing an upgrade, with Mike Klis of 9News tweeting the team is exploring veteran backs on the market. With teams potentially skittish about big deals for backs, after some recent ones backfired, some bigger-name backs may be available at reasonable rates.

NFC Notes: Redskins, Scherff, Ajayi, Saints

With Zack Martin recently signing a six-year, $84MM contract ($40MM guaranteed) with the Cowboys, Kareem Copeland of The Washington Post says Redskins guard Brandon Scherff is line for a big extension. The lineman has already earned a pair of Pro Bowl nods during his two seasons in the NFL, and he was rated as one of the best guards in the league per Pro Football Focus. Furthermore, with the organization looking to protect their investment in quarterback Alex Smith, it only makes sense to lock in their offensive line.

Fortunately for Scherff, it sounds like the team is more than willing to keep him around.

“His work ethic is off the charts,” said offensive line coach Bill Callahan. “He’s a guy that continually challenges you as a coach and every day wants to get better, wants to know specifically what he needs to work on to improve. We go over that list continually.

“He’s a guy that you just love to coach because you tell him one time and he gets it and he’s got it. You can do a lot of different things with him because he has that type of versatility and that type of adaptability as well.”

Scherff is set to earn $705K in 2018, but that will be bumped to $12.525MM in 2019 when the Redskins presumably pick up his fifth-year option.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…

  • Jay Ajayi is expected to sit atop the Eagles depth chart next season, but Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia says that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll have have 20-plus carries per game. Rather, the writer expects Ajayi to collect less than 200 total carries on the season, especially when you consider the team’s depth at the position and Ajayi’s persistent knee issues. Acquired in a trade with the Dolphins midseason, the running back ultimately appeared in seven games (one start) for the Eagles in 2017, compiling 408 rushing yards and one score on 70 carries. He also collected 42 carries in the playoffs, including a nine-carry, 57-yard performance in the Super Bowl.
  • After being released by the Panthers in February, safety Kurt Coleman quickly signed a three-year deal with the Saints that contained more than $6MM in guaranteed money. It sounds like the organization had high hopes when they signed the defensive back to the contract, as Larry Holder of NOLA.com says Coleman could end up replacing Vonn Bell in the starting lineup. The 30-year-old played in 12 games for Carolina last season, compiling 76 tackles and three passes defended. On the flip side, Bell, 23, was plenty productive last year, finishing with 83 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
  • We learned yesterday that Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham is facing a one-game suspension.

Draft Signings: Saints, Bell, Raiders

Today’s draft signings:

  • The Saints announced that the signing of second-round safety Vonn Bell, as Evan Woodbery of The Times-Picayune tweets. With Bell in the fold, fourth-round defensive tackle David Onyemata stands as the team’s only unsigned pick. When describing Bell’s game, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer once remarked, “He has the skill set of a corner. How many safeties can cover a No. 2 receiver?,” (link via NFL.com).
  • The Raiders have announced the signing of fifth-round draft pick DeAndre Washington, a running back from Texas Tech, as Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com writes. Washington was drafted to help give Oakland support behind leading rusher Latavius Murray. In a recent interview with KGMZ-FM in San Francisco, Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie had high praise for the tailback. “DeAndre, he’s more than just a third-down back,” McKenzie said, via the team’s website. “He can pound it up in there. The Raider Nation will find out fast just how physical he is.” Oakland has now signed four of its seven draft picks with only three to go: second-round defensive end Jihad Ward, third-round defensive end/outside linebacker Shilique Calhoun, and sixth-round outside linebacker Cory James.

Saints Acquire 61st Pick From Patriots

The Saints acquired the 61st pick from the Patriots in exchange for Nos. 78 and 112, reports Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (Twitter link). New Orleans then selected Ohio State safety Vonn Bell. The Patriots, meanwhile, now have three third-round picks.

Bell will join a a Saints defense that allowed the second-most passing yards in the NFL last season and hauled in just nine interceptions. Bell picked off nine passes himself during his three-year tenure with the Buckeyes and should play a prominent role in New Orleans’ defensive backfield.

Schrager’s Latest: Joseph, Kelly, Giants

Earlier tonight, Peter Schrager of FOX Sports took to Twitter to pass along his latest draft buzz. Here’s a rundown of everything:

NFC Draft Rumors: Falcons, Bucs, 49ers

The Falcons are on the lookout for an upgrade at right guard, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com writes. Last year’s starter, Chris Chester, would like to return to Atlanta, so he could be one option. Other than that, the Falcons have Mike Person, but they’re not terribly high on him. Atlanta could find their right guard solution in the draft and multiple sources tell McClure that they like UCLA offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch as an interior lineman. The Bruins right tackle recently worked out for Atlanta brass and made a solid impression. Benenoch, a likely later-round pick, has drawn attention for teams because of his ability to play four of the five spots on the offensive line.

  • Ohio State safety Vonn Bell told SiriusXM NFL Radio (on Twitter) that all of his visits and workouts are in the books. In addition to previously reported teams, Bell noted that he has visited the Buccaneers.
  • Cal wide receiver Darius Powe looked sharp in a recent workout for the 49ers, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com tweets. Next up for Powe is a Saturday workout with the Cowboys.
  • Missouri Western offensive tackle Leonard Wester worked out for the Cardinals on Wednesday, Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets.
  • Stanford guard Joshua Garnett says that he has only visited the Bears thus far, though he has had many private workouts, as Eric Branch as the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. Garnett could wind up as a second-round pick.
  • Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland is scheduled to visit the Falcons on Sunday and Monday, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com writes.

NFC Draft Updates: Eagles, Hackenberg, Ifedi

A report last Thursday indicated that Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg had a workout lined up with the Eagles this week, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that it will happen tomorrow.

As Rapoport notes, Philadelphia is taking a look at all of the top QB prospects in this year’s draft class, so the club will be an interesting one to keep an eye on in three weeks. While some observers are convinced that new head coach Doug Pederson and the Eagles will take a signal-caller early, others believe it’s just a smoke-screen.

As we wait to see exactly what Pederson, Howie Roseman, and Co. have up their sleeves, let’s check in on some other draft updates from around the NFC….

  • We heard on Wednesday that Texas A&M tackle Germain Ifedi has a busy schedule of pre-draft visits and workouts. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle adds a couple more teams to the list of potential suitors for Ifedi, tweeting that the Vikings are hosting him for a visit and Seahawks assistant Tom Cable is working him out.
  • Ohio State safety Vonn Bell has a visit with the Rams on tap for early next week, per Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (Twitter link).
  • Jihad Ward of Illinois has 12 pre-draft visits lined up with teams, and is meeting with the Cardinals, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report tweets. Ward transitioned from receiver/safety to the defensive line during his time as a JUCO player. In his first year with Illinois (his junior season), he recorded 51 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, and four fumble recoveries.
  • Wisconsin safety Michael Caputo visited Washington today, Aaron Wilson tweets.
  • The Seahawks are slated to work out BYU flex tight end Terenn Houk, tweets Aaron Wilson.

Zach Links contributed to this post.